Mortal Online 2 Discussion

@MolagAmur

MO has never had more than the bare minimum playerbase and certainly not enough to make it profitable. I agree that as a sandbox, MO does not have enough content but this goes back to my original post that there is a fundamental design issue at play.

A sandbox has to support an immersive end game state for non-PvP playstyles in addition to PvP. Currently, MO does not. Non-PvP activities are simply busy work while PvP is not happening. There is no way to make PvE, crafting endlessly fun without goals/competition. Even major developers like Blizzard and EA have to release expansions otherwise players stop logging in. And the only reason why their PvE works is because there is a competitive state between guilds to complete the content. That is not a sustainable model for SV and neither is that the intent of a sandbox, where emergent game play is intended to be the content.

Stable and bug/exploit free patches are a base requirement certainly but players would still get bored on a non-competitive farm-grind treadmill. Players that lean more to non-PvP activities quickly come to the realisation that there is no purpose for them outside of supporting PvP. The only competitive state is PvP (which is fine) but it means that MO is a PvP-only game with non-PvP subsystems. To be successful those sub-systems must not be time consuming or onerous, but they are... hence you end up with a farm-grind that cause even PvPers to quit.

Given MO's current design philosophy there is no "feature fix" or "bug patch" that can magically make MO fun, attract players and retain them. My suggestion would be that non-PvP should wag the PvP-dog but the vast majority of surviving MO players (and the developers?) want a game based on PvP-roaming. Once again, that is perfectly fine, but unfortunately they need to understand that such a game can never be a true mixed-style sandbox.

On another note, the fact that there is a web-based map is a pretty solid argument for having an in-game map. Even if I personally don't like the idea of it.
 
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Having a map ingame is fine IF there is no GPS, anyone can just search pockets map on google anyways, but having an arrow pointing out your char location at all times is what really kills the sense of exploration IMO.
This is probably the best solution
 
sorry but i dont understand y people are talking about keep stuff at all its a different game :/ y would yo take stuff over lol
 

Dalacor

Senior Member
@MolagAmur

MO has never had more than the bare minimum playerbase and certainly not enough to make it profitable. I agree that as a sandbox, MO does not have enough content but this goes back to my original post that there is a fundamental design issue at play.
MO did make profit for a few years and the population up until TC debacle went from good to ok but never as low as they past few years, not even close. For example during Dawn era which was around 2 years after launch id guess player numbers were easily 20 times more than now or more. Every patch since then removed fun and added grind and people don't want a job, they want a fun game.
 
MO did make profit for a few years and the population up until TC debacle went from good to ok but never as low as they past few years, not even close. For example during Dawn era which was around 2 years after launch id guess player numbers were easily 20 times more than now or more. Every patch since then removed fun and added grind and people don't want a job, they want a fun game.
Look, I don't know each and every patch but the key issue to understand is the fundamental driver of player retention; a goal or competitive state. All successful games must have that as a bare minimum and is required before you even talk about innovative features, production quality etc which then determine whether you will be more or less successful than competitors.

Please understand that I realise that "goal" or "competitive state" are rather nebulous concepts. They are hard to get right. That is why game design is hard and the number of successful games are tiny in a sea of mediocrity. I take my hat off to SV for attempting to do it. It is damn hard.

That said, there are some hard truths that must be faced here. MO purports to be a sandbox. That inherently means that it wants to be about more than only PvP. It follows that non-PvP activities need its own competitive state that is independent of PvP. The competitive state can be against other players, yourself, the game... there is no hard and fast rule here but the player must feel they are achieving something with that activity without any reference to PvP.

Unfortunate all those individual patches are in context of a game that is designed with a PvP-only "competitive state". The patches (good or bad) are irrelevant because PvP trumps all. The only patch that will help is one that simplifies non-PvP sub-systems, make them far less time consuming and ultimately make access to competitive PvP quick and easy. SV needs to admit to themselves they want a PvP-roaming game, not a sandbox, or consider fundamental redesign.

I agree that they have had a net profit some years but there was still a net loss for the project as a whole. The reason is that the vast majority of those x20 players came for a sandbox and then quit because there was no non-PvP payoff. You could retain many of them in a PvP-only game but you have to get rid of the farm-grind.
 

Dalacor

Senior Member
Look, I don't know each and every patch but the key issue to understand is the fundamental driver of player retention; a goal or competitive state. All successful games must have that as a bare minimum and is required before you even talk about innovative features, production quality etc which then determine whether you will be more or less successful than competitors.

Please understand that I realise that "goal" or "competitive state" are rather nebulous concepts. They are hard to get right. That is why game design is hard and the number of successful games are tiny in a sea of mediocrity. I take my hat off to SV for attempting to do it. It is damn hard.

That said, there are some hard truths that must be faced here. MO purports to be a sandbox. That inherently means that it wants to be about more than only PvP. It follows that non-PvP activities need its own competitive state that is independent of PvP. The competitive state can be against other players, yourself, the game... there is no hard and fast rule here but the player must feel they are achieving something with that activity without any reference to PvP.

Unfortunate all those individual patches are in context of a game that is designed with a PvP-only "competitive state". The patches (good or bad) are irrelevant because PvP trumps all. The only patch that will help is one that simplifies non-PvP sub-systems, make them far less time consuming and ultimately make access to competitive PvP quick and easy. SV needs to admit to themselves they want a PvP-roaming game, not a sandbox, or consider fundamental redesign.

I agree that they have had a net profit some years but there was still a net loss for the project as a whole. The reason is that the vast majority of those x20 players came for a sandbox and then quit because there was no non-PvP payoff. You could retain many of them in a PvP-only game but you have to get rid of the farm-grind.
When did you start playing? Pre awakening the game was a living breathing sandbox with extreme and complicated politics and intrigue. The level of PVP drove the crafters to make large profits and the limited keeps and the abilities of those keeps(pre tc) meant that wars and seiges were plenty and the consequences severe. There are various flavours of sandboxes and they dont all have to be the same but imo to this day i have never played a game half as good as pre awakening MO and that is in spite of it being unstable, buggy and unbalanced(pvp wise). Had they polished and balanced that game and then maybe added some additional fun sandboxy elements then things might be very different but all they did was add unbalances OP mechanics on top of flawed TC design allowing everyone to do everything and any politics or drive to play ended. SV are 100% responsible for the destruction of this game.
 
When did you start playing?
He started at around the same time I did, late beta and release, and genuinely goes way bax, er, back.
 

Dalacor

Senior Member
He started at around the same time I did, late beta and release, and genuinely goes way bax, er, back.
Interesting, I guess we all have differing opinions of what makes a great game. He sounds more interested in the non pvp aspects which is fine but ultimately the vast majority of players historically played this game for pvp, there are other similar games that focus less on that but MO was never intended to be a clean sandbox. Sadly the game went to shit for both groups of players.
 
@Dalacor

That is why I try not to be too specific as to what the redesign should be, as any suggestion will naturally be coloured by my personal preferences and design assumptions. And then we would argue about specifics based on different design paradigms and we get nowhere. Base design principles are the root cause of MO's population retention problem, not design specifics.

Unfortunately you can't use short term player activity as proof. Of course, at the beginning of a game/expansion there is a lot of activity. I disagree that most players came to MO for PvP-only. The vast majority of players originally came for the promise of a sandbox (i.e. a genuine mix of play-styles), because that is what SV promoted it as. It was also right at the time that players were realising DF was not a sandbox either and were looking for a game that was.

That initial activity is great while everyone is exploring all the features, but ultimately they end with a fully skilled character, base world is constructed and then... they have no more purpose. Simply amassing gold has no purpose unless you can use it to partake in a competitive state independent of PvP. And the only competitive state in MO is PvP. In very short order you only have dedicated PvPers left because everyone else got bored. At this point activity might still be ok and that is the main cause, I believe, why players struggle to see the fundamental problem. They remember that period of activity and believe it was sustainable, but it never was, otherwise SV would not...

...have attempted to improve player retention. There are two elements that I have mentioned previously. (1) Play-style Segregation. The only relevant factor in MO is PvP effectiveness. This causes the population to split. One group is simply surviving the depredations of the other more PvP-dedicated group. Hence walls etc. (2) Immersive Competition. Those non-PvP aspects are time-consuming because the original intention was that they would be an independent play-style. Yet due to a fundamentally flawed design that play-style was not provided with an immersive competitive end state. This causes the non-dedicated PvPers to lose interest after the initial exploration phase. The dedicated PvPers end up with an onerous, not-fit-for-purpose PvP sub-system that they have to slog through to get to the PvP. This slowly grinds your remaining population to dust.

Population boom (exploration), bust (non-PvPers quit), long period of barely viable activity (dedicated PvPers) who are suffocated to death by the farm-grind.

I am not criticising a PvP-only MO, if that is the developers intention, but what you have is a half of one, half of another, and it does not work. DF... dead. MO... dead. LiF... dead. They all have one thing in common; they pretend to be sandboxes but at heart are PvP-only games. It is irrelevant whether I am more interested in the non-PvP side or not. A PvP-only game needs to be designed as such.
 
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Stowater

Silver Supporter
@Dalacor

That is why I try not to be too specific as to what the redesign should be, as any suggestion will naturally be coloured by my personal preferences and design assumptions. And then we would argue about specifics based on different design paradigms and we get nowhere. Base design principles are the root cause of MO's population retention problem, not design specifics.

Unfortunately you can't use short term player activity as proof. Of course, at the beginning of a game/expansion there is a lot of activity. I disagree that most players came to MO for PvP-only. The vast majority of players originally came for the promise of a sandbox (i.e. a genuine mix of play-styles), because that is what SV promoted it as. It was also right at the time that players were realising DF was not a sandbox either and were looking for a game that was.

That initial activity is great while everyone is exploring all the features, but ultimately they end with a fully skilled character, base world is constructed and then... they have no more purpose. Simply amassing gold has no purpose unless you can use it to partake in a competitive state independent of PvP. And the only competitive state in MO is PvP. In very short order you only have dedicated PvPers left because everyone else got bored. At this point activity might still be ok and that is the main cause, I believe, why players struggle to see the fundamental problem. They remember that period of activity and believe it was sustainable, but it never was, otherwise SV would not...

...have attempted to improve player retention. There are two elements that I have mentioned previously. (1) Play-style Segregation. The only relevant factor in MO is PvP effectiveness. This causes the population to split. One group is simply surviving the depredations of the other more PvP-dedicated group. Hence walls etc. (2) Immersive Competition. Those non-PvP aspects are time-consuming because the original intention was that they would be an independent play-style. Yet due to a fundamentally flawed design that play-style was not provided with an immersive competitive end state. This causes the non-dedicated PvPers to lose interest after the initial exploration phase. The dedicated PvPers end up with an onerous, not-fit-for-purpose PvP sub-system that they have to slog through to get to the PvP. This slowly grinds your remaining population to dust.

Population boom (exploration), bust (non-PvPers quit), long period of barely viable activity (dedicated PvPers) who are suffocated to death by the farm-grind.

I am not criticising a PvP-only MO, if that is the developers intention, but what you have is a half of one, half of another, and it does not work. DF... dead. MO... dead. LiF... dead. They all have one thing in common; they pretend to be sandboxes but at heart are PvP-only games. It is irrelevant whether I am more interested in the non-PvP side or not. A PvP-only game needs to be designed as such.
This guy has pretty much nailed it. I love both PvE and PvP, but the PvE in MO is simply not fun at all, and is just a boring grind that you have to go through to get to pvp. I started 7 years ago, and the reason I was intrigued was because MO was advertised as a true sandbox. The reason I stayed was because of the guild system, and the politics. These days its hard to log on because you need a population(and a few reverted changes) for those things to work. Population is gone because of what Dorier said.
 
MO is unique only in one field: Reality feeling. For example if you hunt a razorback , you really FEEL that you have accomplished something. Even transferring goods from one place to another is enjoyable because u know that u can be attacked anywhere anytime. No other game can make me feel even one tenth of this game. Bu t that is all and this is not enough as all of you know very well.
 
Add tents for MO2:
that give you 1 respawn... Can use them for going to war all your men set 1 up before starting a siege giving the attackers a camp... You could set tents up outside dungeons so you have 1 respawn outside but you still need to get back in and you risk people seeing them
Some models are already around in the game's current version of UE.
 
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